A scheduling and pre-trial order has been issued by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in the Apple v. Epic court case, laying out the milestones for discovery and submissions of expert testimony prior to the trial date of May 3, 2021.

This is somewhat earlier than what court watchers had initially anticipated, which was sometime in July of next year, and while the date has been set, the exact length of the trial has not. In the scheduling order, Judge Rogers indicates the date chosen was determined by a number of factors, including "the Court’s anticipated jury trial schedule in the summer of 2021 given the backlog created by the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic." Judge Rogers also stated, "The Court will determine closer to the trial date whether the bench trial will be conducted in person or virtually or some combination thereof. Production of exhibits to the Court will be impacted depending on the resolution of this issue."

Last week, and much to the surprise of many, both litigants requested the bench trial over the recommendation of Judge Rogers for a jury trial. A case management conference is set for October 19, where both parties will "meet and confer and formulate recommendations to streamline trial issues and briefing, including whether briefing on certain legal issues should be staged in advance of the trial." Some of these issues will include related court cases against Apple which are making their own antitrust accusations against the company.

Food For Thought

There is one curious datum missing out of the scheduling order: the length of the trial. While the date itself has been set, the same field on the order also mentions length. If there's no given length, it could mean Judge Rogers intends to spend exactly one day on this trial, or it could mean she intends to take her time to make sure the case is heard properly.